Tips for Hot Summer Days

Tips for Hot Summer Days

By Kim Ziegler, MS, RN, Director of Education at St. Ann’s Community.

For adults ages 50+, heat-related illnesses could be a matter of life and death. Here are warning signs of overheating, and what we can do to protect ourselves:


Warning Signs
Dehydration:
Loss of water in the body
Weakness
Headache
Muscle cramps
Dizziness or fainting
Confusion
Heat Stroke:
Dangerous rise in body temp; can be deadly
Body temp of ≥ 103°
Red, hot, dry skin
Fast pulse
Headache
Dizziness or fainting
Nausea or vomiting
Confusion
Heat Exhaustion:
Serious problem caused by too much heat and dehydration; can lead to heat stroke
Heavy sweating OR no sweating
Muscle cramps
Tiredness
Weakness
Pale, cold, clammy skin
Dizziness or fainting
Headache
Nausea or vomiting
Fast, weak pulse
Heat Syncope:
Dizziness or fainting caused by high temps
Dizziness or fainting


What should we do?

  • Lie down and rest in a cool place
  • Fluids – waters and juices not alcohol or caffeine
  • Sponge off with cool water or apply cool cloths to wrists, ankles, armpits, neck
  • Loosen heavy clothing
  • If signs of heat stroke will need emergency attention

Preventative measures:

  • HYDRATE proactively … don’t wait to feel thirsty
  • If extreme heat, stay indoors, preferably in air conditioning
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully – hottest between 10 and 2
  • Limit sun exposure and rest in the shade
  • Appropriate clothing – lightweight, loose fitting, light colored, wide-brimmed hats
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Use sunscreen
  • Limit strenuous activity

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